Should the Jays Target Magglio Ordonez?

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If the Blue Jays are really going to employ Adam Lind at 1B as advertised, they can easily fit Magglio Ordonez in as a full time DH and let him play some RF or LF when required.

The Detroit Tigers and many others will be bidding for Magglio Ordonez as well, making him a hard enough target to acquire.However, there are some – including the MLBTR predictions – who believe that the Jays may be one of the better options for Magglio.

We heard most recently of the interest held in Magglio from the Red Sox who lost out on the Jayson Werth sweepstakes. If the Jays were to swoop in and nab Magglio, they’d be taking what may be the best option for the Red Sox away from them. That, and the fact that he kills the Red Sox each season as listed below, is a great reason to attempt to bring the professional hitter on board.

Here’s what he’d provide the Jays with:

  • Since he doesn’t cost a pick, the price to acquire him is less than some other options. Also, he may reach Type A or B status if he can put in a full season with the Jays, meaning that he’d be giving the team both a nice player to have over 1 or 2 seasons as well as 1 or 2 picks.
  • If it were not for an ankle injury mid season, Magglio would have had one heck of a season statistically speaking.
  • Leadership and a veteran presence. Like it or not, the Jays are still fairly young and need more clutch hitting. Magglio would provide this consistently.
  • A Batting Average and OBP that are both above average. Even though his power numbers haven’t been great in ’09 and ’10, his average and OBP have been consistent at .310 and .303 (averages) and .376 and .378 (OBPs) respectively.
  • A LHP crusher. His average against LHP in 2010 was .371 with a .457 OBP , and he hit 6 of his 12 HRs against them despite only having 70 ABs against LHP.
  • A Red Sox killer. He hit a ridiculous .615 against them with a 643 OBP. If that’s not enough for you, he has a .341 career average in Fenway park in 173 ABs. He’s obviously very comfortable in that park, so the Jays need to decide whether they want to face him in Fenway, or whether they want to use those skills to beat the Sox.
  • He also has a .340 average, .395 OBP, and .491 SLG % over the course of his career vs BAL in Camden yards, and a .295 average, .364 OBP, and .474 SLG % over his career vs TB and at Tropicana field, indicating just how much success he’s had vs AL East opponents.
  • Post season experience. The Jays have almost no post season experience, so having someone who’s been there on board would be great.
  • He may not have 30 HR potential anymore, but he can easily reach 25 and also chip in with a ton of doubles and RBIs. His career slugging of .511 is incredible and exactly the type of support the Jays need from a DH.

If healthy, all of the  things listed above are as close to guaranteed as you can get. But, therein lies the issue – will he be healthy? Frankly, do the Jays care if he misses 20-30 games per season? First, they know that when he plays, Magglio is more than worth the roster spot and is a true professional. Second, if and when he does sit some games out, they can use the opportunity to give guys like Eric Thames or other young players a look in the majors. It’s not as big a deal as some make it out to be in terms of health issues. His ankle apparently feels 100%, so as of today he’s good to go.

I believe that Magglio Ordonez could be a great fit in Toronto, he could enhance the offensive output of the Jays in 2011 and 2012. I’m not certain what he and his agent, the ever clever Scott Boras, are looking for in terms of salary and years, but I do know that the Jays have more than enough budget room to overpay for a shorter term deal in order to ensure Magglio doesn’t become a liability when speaking of the club’s future.

The possible Jays lineup with Magglio Ordonez included:

Rajai DavisYunel EscobarAdam LindJose BautistaMagglio OrdonezVernon WellsAaron HillTravis SniderJ. P. Arencibia

To me, this looks like a more professional lineup with Ordonez included than without him included.

Should the Jays target Magglio Ordonez? I say why not! They need a DH, they have the cash, and he’s exactly the kind of professional hitter the Jays could use without bringing the kind of baggage that Manny Ramirez would bring with him in Toronto.

- MG

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